Defensive Mindset Propels USC Lacrosse to Road Victory Over UC Davis|
March 6, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - Just two days removed from a pair of East Coast road games, the USC women's lacrosse team (4-3, 2-0 MPSF) rolled into Aggie Stadium to claim a 12-7 MPSF victory over UC Davis (1-3, 0-2) on Wednesday, March 6. Freshman midfield Amanda Johansen was solid in the center circle with six draw controls and had game-high honors with five goals for the Women of Troy.
"I'm really happy and proud of the girls for responding after the Princeton game," said head coach Lindsey Munday. "We didn't have much turnaround time after getting back from the East Coast on Sunday night, so I'm really proud that we were able to switch gears and get our minds set for a new opponent. The team really worked on the things that we needed to improve on from our last game, and I think we did a good job on those things, tonight."
Freshman attack Caroline de Lyra continued her torrid string of performances with four goals and four assists to lead all players with eight points. Freshman attack Caroline Cordrey had a goal and freshmen midfields Katie Austin and Paige Bonomi each finished the night with a goal and an assist.
The Trojan defense held an opponent to eight goals or fewer for the fourth time, this season: all USC victories. Freshman goalie Liz Shaeffer put up a wall in front of the cage and stopped 11 shots to record a .611 save percentage against the Aggies. Freshman defense Courtney Tarleton had a team-high four ground balls and was responsible for two of USC's nine caused turnovers.
Three other Trojans had two ground balls apiece: Shaeffer, junior midfield Ceilidh Meagher, and junior midfield Elizabeth Eddy who started for the first time, this season. Eddy also picked up a draw control and had a caused turnover.
"Elizabeth Eddy got her first start, tonight, and played a really solid defensive game for us," said Munday. "We're all really excited for her potential."
For UC Davis, midfield Elizabeth Landry scored three times, with each of the other four goals coming from different Aggies. Landry also picked up a pair of ground balls and had two draw controls. Tess Alekna led all players with five ground balls and Hannah Mirza had three ground balls, and four draw controls to go with a goal and an assist.
After nearly nine minutes of scoreless play, the Trojans struck first as sophomore midfield Kaila Sommi found Johansen for a pass that set up the first of Johansen's five goals. From there, it didn't take nearly as long before the Aggies evened the score at one-all on Mirza's goal.
A trio of scoring runs ensued with USC going first as it got goals from Cordrey, a second one from Johansen on a free-position shot, and one more from de Lyra. In less than three minutes, the Trojans had built a 4-1 lead, but UC Davis retaliated and went on a 3-0 run of its own buoyed by a pair of unassisted goals from Landry to tie the score at four-all with 10 minutes left in the first half.
Austin's goal off an assist from de Lyra broke the tie at 5:38 to go in the half before Bonomi found Johansen for another goal less than 90 seconds later. USC held on to take its 6-4 lead into the break but continued to press the issue as the second half started.
The Trojans came out aggressively to start the second half and extended their lead to four goals, 8-4, as de Lyra recorded back-to-back assists on goals by Johansen and Bonomi.
Johansen returned the favor and hit de Lyra in stride for the first of her three second-half goals to create USC's largest lead of five points at 9-4. Six minutes without a goal passed before the Aggies stopped the Trojans' 5-0 run and posted two within 50 seconds of each other--the second by Landry--to cut the USC lead to three with 17 minutes left.
Austin and de Lyra's two-woman game yielded another goal for de Lyra down the stretch to make the score 10-6, but UC Davis responded with a goal from Courtney Neff to keep things in striking distance at 10-7 with 10 minutes on the clock.
The Trojans maintained their defensive mindset and kept the Aggies at bay for the final 10 minutes, but took advantage of opportunities as Johansen scored on another pass from de Lyra to push the lead to 11-7, and de Lyra recorded an unassisted goal with just under four minutes left on the clock to complete the final score at 12-7.
USC gets a day off before it puts an unblemished MPSF record on the line against 18th-ranked Stanford (2-2, 0-0 MPSF) at 3 p.m. PT on Friday, March 8, on Maloney Field at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium in Stanford, Calif. Live stats will be available via Gametracker. Please visit www.GoStanford.com or www.USCTrojans.com for links.